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Pritchett v. City of Chicago

July 11, 2007

RODRICK PRITCHETT, PLAINTIFF,
v.
CITY OF CHICAGO AND RODOLFO CAMARILLO, JR. AND EDWARD KOS, DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Michael T. Mason, United States Magistrate Judge

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

Plaintiff, Rodrick Pritchett ("Pritchett" or "plaintiff"), filed a three-count complaint in the Circuit Court of Cook County arising out of his arrest by Chicago Police Officers Rodolfo Camarillo, Jr. and Edward Kos ("defendant officers"). Count I alleged a state law cause of action for malicious prosecution and/or false arrest. Count II alleged an action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against the defendant officers based on the same conduct. Count III alleged an action against the City of Chicago ("the City") based on Monell v. Dep't of Social Services of the City of New York, 436 U.S. 658 (1977). Defendants subsequently removed the action to the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. On April 16, 2005, plaintiff filed an Amended Complaint, containing essentially the same allegations. The defendants filed a motion for summary judgment on all three counts of plaintiff's Amended Complaint. For the reasons set forth below, defendants' motion for summary judgment on Counts II and III is granted and Count I is dismissed without prejudice.

BACKGROUND*fn1

This case arises out plaintiff's arrest on November 20, 2002. In November of 2002, plaintiff was a resident of the City of Chicago. Plaintiff admits that at the time of his arrest, the defendant officers were employed by the City of Chicago and were acting within the scope of their employment and under color of state law.

On the evening of November 20, 2002, Officers Camarillo and Kos pulled plaintiff over near 87th and Ada in Chicago, Illinois. Plaintiff admits that when he was stopped by the uniformed officers, one of his taillights was not functioning and his registration (license plates) had been suspended. Plaintiff had a 9mm semiautomatic pistol in his car at the time of the traffic stop. Plaintiff admits that his gun was not registered with the City of Chicago.

When the officers approached his vehicle, plaintiff produced his driver's license. He then produced his Firearms Owners Identification Card ("FOID") and voluntarily stated that he had a gun in the car. Plaintiff and his passenger were asked to step outside the vehicle. Officer Kos searched plaintiff's vehicle and recovered the gun.*fn2 Plaintiff was taken into custody and transported to the 22nd District police station. His passenger was allowed to leave.

Plaintiff was charged with failure to register a firearm in violation of Chicago Municipal Code, Section 8-20-040; operating a vehicle on suspended registration (license plates) in violation of the Illinois Vehicle Code, 625 ILCS 5/3-702; operating a vehicle with a nonfunctioning taillight in violation of Chicago Municipal Code, Section 9-76-050(c); and aggravated unlawful use of a weapon, 720 ILCS 5/24-1.6(a)(1).

Plaintiff was held in Cook County Jail until his mother could arrange for bond, three to four days after his arrest. Plaintiff's car was impounded for four days and he testified that he paid $680.00 to get his car back.

At the preliminary hearing on November 27, 2002, the State nolle prosequied*fn3 the traffic offenses and the ordinance violation for failure to register the gun with the City of Chicago. The State proceeded on the charge of aggravated unlawful use of a weapon, 720 ILCS 5/24-1.6(a)(1). On May 17, 2004, plaintiff was acquitted of this charge after a bench trial.

Plaintiff filed his original complaint in the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois on November 19, 2004. Defendants subsequently removed the action to federal court.

LEGAL ANALYSIS

Summary judgment is proper when "the pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file, together with the affidavits, if any, show that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and that the moving party is entitled to a judgment as a matter of law. Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(c); see also, Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322-23 (1986). The moving party has the burden of demonstrating the absence of genuine issues of material fact. Celotex, 477 U.S. at 323.

"A genuine issue of material fact exists only if there is sufficient evidence favoring the nonmoving party for a jury to return a verdict for that party." Alexander v. Wis. Dept. of Health and Family Services, 263 F.3d 673, 680 (7th Cir. 2001). When making this determination, we review the record in the light most favorable to the non-movant, and draw all reasonable inferences in his favor. Id. However, once the moving party has met its burden, the opposing party must come forward with specific evidence, not mere allegations or denials of the pleadings, which demonstrates that there is a genuine issue for trial. Howland v. Kilquist, 833 F.2d 639, 642 (7th Cir. 1987). Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56(c) "mandates summary judgment when the nonmoving party fails to ...


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